Spring in the
English Lake District &
April 23-30 2022
The cherry blossoms filling the air of leafy Edinburgh, and the daffodils nodding their golden heads in the fields full of bouncing lambs! These are our inspirations when we imagined this retreat - and we invite you to join us. We're exploring the stunning capital city of Scotland in its most beautiful season, sketching, making, and interpreting the spirit of place.
Then, our journey takes us to the verdant English Lake District, the inspiration for Beatrix Potter - author and botanical illustrator. Her love for the living landscape (both rugged and gentle) and the creatures of this realm will touch your heart and inspire your art!
Just when you may never want to leave... we're whisking you away for something completely different - the bucolic, rolling hills of the Scottish Borders. We'll be visiting some of our favorite scenery in all Scotland (think Tolkien’s Shire) in our own, carefully curated way - with plenty of time for tea and cakes!
We start our journey with two days in Edinburgh - a UNESCO World Heritage site. You’ll have a VIP greeting at the airport with a kilted Scotsman, who will whisk you away to the city! Curate your day, your way - relaxing or wandering the jumbled cobblestones in this quirky, ancient city that has inspired artists and writers for generations.
Later, you’ll sip with a glass of wine with us, and experience our grand opening dinner, celebrating your arrival with tales from Scotland’s bard, and the skirl of the pipes.
Once you're settled in to our boutique property, you'll learn new textile design techniques with Summer Kiser over a glass of wine. Stitch your stories by interweaving memories of times past with new directions and inspiration. Summer's gentle process combines the time-honored craft of embroidery with a new way of telling your story, in a creative, colorful and unexpected way. You'll not want to miss this warm and cozy experience!
Summer is a fiber and fabric artist, quilter, clothing designer, and shepherdess. She also dabbles in watercolor and mixed media, but mostly considers herself that best of all things - a maker.
We’ll go Sketch Strolling with Jane Bumar in the ancient seaport of Leith. As we wander, we'll learn artful techniques for creating a time machine in your mind, incorporating gentle mindfulness and an eye for detail. An Edinburgh resident, Jane will share her love for the city's rich history with a nautical flair. During class, we learn to not only 'see' as artists, but fully engage all our senses, and document our explorations.
Jane is an urban sketcher with a background in mixed media and collage, and a former professional writer and instructional designer. Her drawings have recently been published in a collaborative book Edinburgh, One Drawing at a Time. She prefers drawing in pen, on location, and is always working on perfecting her gothic arches!
We wander via our private char-a-bánc (the British call it a ‘sharrabang’!) which will transport us to the idyllic English Lakes District and enchanted Scottish Borders. Our tour partner, Brian from Personal Tours of Scotland will regale us with tales of history in a narrated journey, providing perspective and wonder as thousands of years of history roll by.
Brian has lived in six counties, and visited over 100, but his favorite country is his home - Scotland. He has worked in the travel and tourism industries for 35 years as a former holiday rep, a Flight Attendant in Upper Class with Virgin Atlantic Airways and the Emir of Qatar's private jets and owned a hotel. His favorite job, though, is tour guiding families and friends in bespoke tours of Scotland!
Evenings become lighter as the world warms and awakens from winter's slumber - but heads become sleepy from days spent outdoors enjoying the pure air and pristine landscapes. We’re staying in our own private accommodations, with dreams of sheep in the nearby fields to lull you to sleep in this green and pleasant land.
As artists ourselves, we also know that less is more, so you are always welcome to relax and craft at our lodgings, taking your day at your own pace. We encourage you to curate your own experience of our days together, with quiet respect for nurturing your needs.
During our retreat, you will be led in workshops with illustrator Danielle Donaldson. Danielle is an artist, author, and educator renowned for her use of complex color palettes and delicately drawn details. Her work incorporates an imaginative array of subjects, from playfully rendered forest creatures, nautical landscapes encapsulated in glass jars, and pillow-forts filled with kittens.
Her background in fine art paired with her skills as a graphic designer have provided her with an exceptional pairing of intuition and practicality which shines through in her art, books, and workshops. In addition to her best-selling instructional books, creativeGIRL: Mixed Media Techniques for an Artful Life and The Art of Creative Watercolor: Inspiration and Techniques for Imaginative Drawing and Painting, she teaches both online classes and in-person workshops including beginner to advanced artists from around the world.
Using her trusty mechanical pencil and vast palette of watercolors, she weaves the values of creative practice, color experimentation, and fine art fundamentals with her signature small-scale illustrations. Nestled in her comfy studio in Southern California, Danielle continues to grow as an artist by fully embracing the creative process in all she does and with each story she tells.
Day trips bring inspiration at its most abundant as we show you our favorite spots: a mysterious chapel with links to Knights Templar (and the Holy Grail!), ruined abbeys with their tumbledown tombstones nestled in wildflowers. Gorgeous walled gardens, with flowers cascading over steps and topiary hedges to frame our views. Craggy coastlines with sheep nipping at the sea-salt tinged grass, fishing villages with ice creams that you can savor. Lakes, daffodils nodding in the breeze – it’s all here, and we’re going to experience it.
We’ll say farewell to our magical week by taking the scenic route home - a final wander through quaint villages and and seaside vistas as we make our way back to Scotland's Capital City.
Our tour ends with Guests alighting at your choice of Edinburgh's airport hotels, or the city center if your journeys continue in the beautiful country of Scotland. Memories made, hearts full, and imagination re-kindled - on to journeys new!
- Seven nights accommodations in a selection of carefully chosen, historic properties.
- A variety of meals including all breakfasts, daily happy hours with wine and nibbles, and most dinners.
VIP pickup and transfer from Edinburgh Airport. Our tour begins and ends in Edinburgh
Touring with a thoughtful mix of experiences all conducted by our professional Tour Guide from Personal Tours of Scotland, LLC. Touring services include our own luxury private vehicle, narration of what we are seeing to understand the sights of this ancient land in context, all route planning and navigation, vehicle insurance, fuel, and of course, water and snacks along the way. So freeing!
Some days are full of sightseeing, whilst taking into account our unique needs as artists. Even on these days, we stop and smell the roses.
Other days are a blend of classes, individual crafting and exploration time, or tour excursions – balance is key! We guarantee you will feel and experience the sights of this wonderful country, but also have time for your creative practices.
Note: Our planned program may be subject to change depending on weather and wandering inclinations.
All classes and workshops.
A special gift bag to commemorate your adventure.
A selection of supplies needed for your classes. Our instructor will also provide a list of recommended supplies.
Shared Room $3,600.
To enhance your experience, we keep our groups small. We welcome a maximum of 12 attendees.